People with diabetes do not produce enough insulin, do not produce at all, or their cells do not respond normally to insulin. Insulin is an important hormone produced by the pancreas that allows glucose, a type of sugar, to move blood to body cells. The cells then use glucose for energy. But if there is not enough insulin or if it does not correct the passage of glucose into cells, it remains in the blood. This results in an increased rate of glucose.
In Canada, more than 3 million people have diabetes and about one third of adults do not know they are affected. The Canadian Diabetes Association believes that 3.7 million people in Canada will have diabetes by the year 2020.
There are 3 main types of diabetes: type 1, diabetes type 2 and gestational diabetes. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the pancreas can not produce insulin. All people with type 1 diabetes must take insulin every day. Less than 10% of all diabetics are living with type 1 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the pancreas does not secrete enough insulin and / or when the body does not use insulin properly. It usually appears in adulthood although it can sometimes reach children. Is treated type 2 diabetes by changes in lifestyle (diet and exercise) and antidiabetic drugs (oral drugs or insulin). Over 90% of diabetics suffer from type 2 diabetes, which is closely related to weight and obesity.
Gestational diabetes is a temporary type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. It is estimated that gestational diabetes appears in 2% to 4% of pregnancies. The occurrence of gestational diabetes increases the risk for both the mother and her baby from becoming type 2 diabetes later.
Some people with type 2 diabetes suffer from what is called a “reduction in glucose tolerance” before the diagnosis of diabetes is made. Body has become less sensitive to the effects of insulin, it must work harder to stabilize the glucose in the blood. These people have a blood sugar (glucose) higher than normal but lower than the rate required for a diagnosis of diabetes. As with type 2 diabetes, the body produces insulin but it is insufficient or improperly used by the body.
Studies have shown that blood sugar (glucose) as near as possible to the normal level can help in the long run, reduce the risk of problems associated with diabetes such as nerve damage, kidney disease, and blindness (non-psychic). Whatever your type of diabetes, you should measure your blood sugar frequently and follow a treatment plan for stabilization. Your doctor and pharmacist can show you how to monitor your blood sugar.